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Villainest is a Sega Genesis-based electro-rock band based in Toronto. Formed in late 2013 by James Harding and Gill Story, Villainest’s sound is a rollercoaster fusion of programmed vintage videogame synthesizers, electrifying live instrumentation and killer vocal harmonies.

Villainest’s self-produced debut album ‘A Vision of Light’ is inspired by the band’s deep love of genre cinema. From the action movie propulsion of ‘Slow Motion Gunfights’ to the slow-build film noir of ‘Stalker’, the album takes lyrical inspiration from vintage John Carpenter, Twin Peaks, Japanese monster movies, 80s teen classics and sci-fi epics to explore themes of family, friendship, jealousy and ambition, making peace with a difficult past and facing an unknowable future.

From supporting TWRP at a packed Opera House, to full houses at the Horseshoe Tavern’s ‘Nerd Noise Night’ events, to synthesizer parties at The Piston, Cherry Cola’s and Handlebar and guest spots at The Rec Room with Transformers-themed party rockers The Cybertronic Spree, a Villainest live performance is a relentlessly energetic expression of creative freedom and joy.


‘A Vision of Light’ is out now on Bandcamp (digital and 12″ vinyl), Spotify, iTunes/Apple Music, Google Play and all major streaming services.


“one of 2018’s greatest chip albums… supersedes the genre and becomes its own unique thing” –  Chiptunes=WIN

“[A] behemoth album… recorded to perfection and every song is a dream to listen to… takes the 16bit sound of the Sega Genesis, adding in guitar, keytar, vocals and drums, then turning it into something straight out of the 80s” – Chip Bit Sid – as part of their ‘Best of 2018’ feature.

“unlock[s] the full power of the noise of nostalgia… replace the FM-synthesized sounds with orchestral arrangements, and you’ve got an Oscar-winning film score. Villainest bring blast processing to every show they play.” – Will Sisskind for Caffeinated Jam

“inspired by 80s pop, glam, and new wave music with a modern twist… incredibly well produced, rehearsed, and written… an entirely exciting band”Practical Stunts


Villainest Promo Shot 1 - photo credit Prairie Koo

Photo credit: Prairie Koo

Villainest Promo Shot 2 - photo credit Prairie Koo

Photo credit: Prairie Koo


Photo credit: Paige Stewart


JAMES HARDING – vocals, guitars, programming

GILL STORY – vocals, keytar

JARI SALMINEN – drums and electronic percussion


Additional members of the Villainest family:

ROBIN SNIP – vocals

KAI SALMINEN – bass, design

“Redefining chiprock even further… so many outstanding tracks that you’ll find yourself quickly becoming a fan” – Richard Lewis, for chiptune blogs chiptuneswin & chipbitsid

“Villainest merges rock n’ roll with clever, hard-hitting nostalgia that is irresistibly fun. Tight musicianship and smart songwriting make their shows incredibly enjoyable.” – Jenna Strautman, Rotary Dial

For booking and all other questions, is your best friend.